'DreamNight' gives MUSC children's hospital patients night at aquarium

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina Aquarium opened its door Tuesday evening for MUSC Children's Hospital patients and their families for the second annual "DreamNight."

"It's really wonderful to have this night where kids and their family can come out and enjoy the aquarium and enjoy being normal and having fun," said Mark Scheurer, a doctor at MUSC.

Two of the kids taking in all the fish in the tank were Ryan and Dylan Tate.

Dylan is Ryan's best friend, twin, and the baby who saved Dylan's life.

"He was four months old when he was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma," Ryan's mom Jayme Tate said. "It's in the retinas of the eyes and it basically blinded him at that point the tumors had been so big."

Jayme said had she not had twins, she may have not known there was anything wrong.

"I only noticed because they were twins," Jayme said."Because I would notice his eyes would flash white while Dylan's eyes would flash red, and I said,'Something's up with that.' So the next day I made a doctor's appointment, and I don't think I would have noticed if they weren't twins."

Since then Ryan has gone through multiple treatments since he was first diagnosed.

"At four months, he did six rounds of chemo and again he had all sorts of laser therapies and cryotherapies through the years, more chemo at 3, and then somewhere around 5 he had a couple more rounds," Jamye said.

Recently Ryan's cancer came back.

"It just keeps coming back," Jayme said.

Despite going through chemo, Ryan has the energy and spunk that no one would ever know he was sick.

His mom said that's how he's always been.

"Honestly, he's kept up," Jayme said."I think he makes the best of what he can see. He doesn't know any different and I mean he hit all his milestones; crawling, walking, riding a bike. He does all that stuff. He's that different to be honest."

Ryan and his brother Dylan were balls of energy at the aquarium, and their mom said that's how it is all the time, constant chaos.

"They are loud and messy and rambunctious and you would not know that kid was sick," Jayme said."He will come home from chemo and get sick and go outside and play." 

At the end of the evening, Ryan said he wanted to be a scuba diver after watching the divers engage with the kids.

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